Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Senate Democrats are standing up for judges and the judicial branch. And Illinois' Senators -- who have already asked the Senate for funding to provide security for federal judges at their homes -- are taking the lead.

From the Tribune:
Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois called the comments troubling and said Cornyn went too far trying to link judges' decisions with violence against judges.

"The deranged individual who [killed U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow's mother and husband] did so after she denied him a medical malpractice claim in court. That is hardly evidence of judicial activism," Durbin said. "And the man who went on a rampage in Georgia was convicted of rape. To suggest that the judge somehow overstepped his bounds in inviting this kind of response I think is totally off base."
And Illinois' junior Senator puts this recent GOP attack on the court system into a historical context:
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said he believes many of the attacks on federal judges grew out of the civil rights movement and Republicans have continued to complain about judges as a means of playing to their conservative base.

"What is absolutely clear is that, over the last 20 to 30 years, part of the mantra of the right wing of this country has been that judges are somehow usurping the rights of the people," Obama said. (Monterey Herald)
And it appears that the Democrats counter offensive on behalf of the courts has put the Republican leaders on the defensive:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said, "I believe we have a fair and independent judiciary today." He said the courts' review of Schiavo's case "was not as complete as we would like," but, he repeated, the courts were "fair and independent." (Trib)
But while there may be a temporary cease fire in the GOP's war on the judiciary, fans of the Constitution must continue to be vigilant.

As Sen. Obama pointed out, this Republican campaign against the courts has been going on for more than a quarter of a century. So there is no reason to believe that this GOP attack on the courts -- the citizen's last and best defense against Big Business and Big Government -- will be their last.

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